Marijuana Seizures At The Border Up 140 Percent Since Canadian Legalization

US Border guards have processed 108 marijuana seizures at the US-Canada border crossing between Buffalo, NY and Champlain, Ontario in October. That's a nearly 140 percent increase from the 44 marijuana seizures made at that same border crossing during October of last year. And Chief Customs and Border Protection Officer Aaron Bowker says people shouldn't be surprised by this.

"Our primary mission is terrorism and interdicting terrorists, but second to that has always been narcotics," Bowker told Spectrum News.

Bowker says the increase in seizures comes largely from deliveries that are screened at the border.

"Obviously, we search packages. We have K-9 dogs that run packages, so we're finding a lot more in the express consignment environment and commercial environment."

However, some of the seizures are the result of average people attempting to cross the border with 30 grams or less, an amount that is entirely legal for adults to possess in Canada. Being found at the border with that amount of weed could lead to a fine of at least $500. Even patients trying to cross with their prescribed medical marijuana could see their medications seized if they try to bring them into the US.

"If you travel across the border with medicinal marijuana that's been legally prescribed, it's still seizable, because under federal law, it's not legal, it's illegal."

So, while you may no longer receive a lifetime ban from traveling to the US for working in Canada's legal marijuana industry, you should still leave your weed at home on your next trip south.

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President Trump's 2020 budget request includes a loophole that would let Washington, DC finally open up dispensaries for recreational cannabis. Although DC voters passed a ballot initiative to legalize recreational cannabis back in 2014, Congress has used its power over the nation's capital to prevent it from selling cannabis for recreational use. Right now, local dispensaries can only sell medical marijuana to registered patients thanks to Congress, which controls spending in the District of Columbia.

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